October 26, 2016

10 tips to keep your smartphone battery in good shape

Let’s face it, whether you’re using top of the line tech or their cheap but reliable counterparts, they are all equal in one respect: their batteries are going to die. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best battery that human innovation can offer or some mid-range alternative, how you care for your batteries will decide how long your device is going to last.

In spite of our precautions, those batteries will die anyway since the technology to solve all our energy problems hasn’t been invented yet, so though important, it’s best not to let it ruin your life. Or well, the smartphone experience.

So is it better to buy a phone with a removable battery or a phone that doesn’t have one? (Looking at you, Apple.) Now, if you want your device to last a really long time, it’s best to go for smartphones with removable batteries. That way, you can buy multiple batteries (if you’re obsessive) if ever the first one dies. However, if you’re the type who follows the latest trends and doesn’t mind the occasional smartphone change, then go for smartphones with irreplaceable batteries.

Now that we got that out of the way, here are some tips to better care for your smartphone battery.

Don’t drain and charge.

drain and charge

You may have been taught by whoever bought you your first phone to drain your phone first before charging it. Don’t do it to your phone. It may have worked in the past (because of such a thing as a battery’s “memory effect”) but it doesn’t work for today’s batteries. In fact, doing that will do more harm to your battery than good. Instead, charge whenever you can to extend its battery life. You never know when you’re gonna be stuck in the middle of nowhere and need the extra juice.”

Turn it off.

Well, turn it off when you don’t need it, especially when you’re going to sleep. Don’t use it as your alarm clock as it only drains away the power that you could’ve used for the whole day. Unless it’s your job, do you really want someone to bother you in the middle of the night?

Turn off apps you’re not using…

…and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, vibrate, key tones, vibrations, and anything unnecessary. Turn them on when you need ‘em, and turn them off after use. They eat up large amounts of energy and cause your phone to heat up, which is the easiest way to damage your battery. And seriously, do you really need those key tones?

Turn down the light.

battery screen light

Lower your phone’s screen brightness and don’t keep using your camera’s flash. Also limit the screen timeout, which is the time the light is on after you open it before it goes to sleep. Light needs energy, and also gives off excess heat. You know what doesn’t like a lot of heat? Your battery. Which brings us to the next tip…

Keep it away from heat.

I’m not telling you to put it in ice like Captain America, but it helps to keep it cool when you can.

Airplane mode is your friend.

battery airplane

If you’re in a place with poor signal, your phone will constantly look for a signal, which uses a lot of energy. So switch to airplane mode until you’re in a place with better reception.

Keep away from wireless and fast chargers.

Wireless charging is convenient, but at the cost of generating waste heat. (Remember what I said about heat?) Fast charging gives your battery extra voltage to charge it faster, but it also puts a considerable strain on the battery. While it’s good for emergencies, use it sparingly.

Choose Lithium batteries over Nickel-based batteries.

Lithium batteries last longer than nickel-based batteries.

Don’t leave it charging overnight.

battery charging overnight

Although devices nowadays are smart enough to stop charging once the battery is full, it would be best to unplug them once they’re done since lithium batteries are prone to overheating.

Don’t leave extra batteries uncharged.

It’s best to charge them halfway before storage since batteries discharge on their own whether they’re on or off your device.